The pandemic has created a situation that is outside our control and with that comes emotions. Many of us are experiencing fear of getting COVID-19, anxiety over how to stay safe, disappointment over life events that have been cancelled (graduation, weddings, summer break trips), and sadness for those that we have lost.
Some people can deal with these emotions and have adapted to this new situation with little to no effort. Others may feel paralyzed, unable to do anything other than check the news or completely ignore the situation hoping it will just go away. There is no absolute right or wrong way to handle the current situation, but there is one thing that we can all control during this time, and that is self-care.
What is the first thing you think about when you hear the words self-care? A glass of wine? Maybe a walk in the park? Self-care can be more than just going and getting a manicure or hitting the gym. Mental and physical health are both very important pieces of self-care.
Here are some self-care ideas that you can do to stay mentally and physically healthy during home-isolation.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep
- Check out this article from The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how many hours of sleep is recommended depending on your age.
- Drink plenty of water
- Stock your fridge and pantry with healthy food choices
- Get your body moving
- Stream a free exercise video or try a free phone app.
- Try to keep your daily work routine the same as it was before the pandemic
- Healthline posted an article on how to build a daily/weekly routine when sheltering-in-place.
- Take breaks from media (including social media)
- If you are still craving news, try uplifting sources.
- Connect with people
- Call a friend or family member
- Host a happy hour or book reading
- Organize, declutter, rearrange or clean your home
- Consider creating zones: work/school, rest, and leisure
- When decluttering your home, work on one area at a time so that it doesn’t get overwhelming
- Start a journal
- Premier Health suggests picking a subject to write about each time you make an entry.
- Try meditation
- There is more than one way to meditate and not all of them require you sitting still according to this article by HuffPost, “How To Meditate Without Mediating At All”.
- Take a free online class
- Looking for excellent online courses from top universities? Check out edX, Coursera or Future Learn.
- General Assembly is great if you want to brush up on a skill or add a new one.
- If you are interested in a STEAM course then visit Kadenze.
- Talk to a therapist
- Don’t keep your worries and fears bottled up. Talk to a therapist if you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend or relative.
- Here are some signs that you should contact someone for help according to the Mayo Clinic:
- Trouble focusing on daily activities
- Anxiety that turns into feelings of being out of control
- Strong feelings that interfere with daily activities
- Having emotions that become difficult to manage
- Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness